Use these savvy tips to bag cheap Eurostar tickets and travel to France, Belgium and beyond for less!
- Look out for Eurostar sales and deals
- Book your Eurostar tickets early
- Book late with Eurostar Snap
- Check return and Standard Premier tickets
- Use an InterRail or Eurail pass
- Join Club Eurostar
- Check for group and age-related savings
- Use cashback websites and credit cards
- Check if flying or a coach or ferry is cheaper
Look out for Eurostar sales and deals
If you fancy travelling on the Eurostar to explore the continent, look out for special sales and deals on the website.
These come and go and rapidly sell out, so it might be a good idea to sign up to Eurostar's newsletter to stay updated.
If you've missed out on the sales, there are plenty of other options for saving money on your Eurostar journey.
Book your Eurostar tickets early
Cheap Eurostar tickets start from £40 one-way or £70 for a return ticket to Paris or Brussels.
According to rail advice website The Man in Seat 61, the cheapest tickets can only be found between midday Monday and midnight Thursday, and between midday and midnight on Saturday.
Most Eurostar tickets go on sale up to six months before departure so keep this in mind when planning your trip and try to get in early.
Just be mindful that these tickets are non-refundable, and you'll have to pay £30 plus the difference in fare if you want to change them.
You can also try out this price prediction tool, which will let you know of any expected price rises.
Hoping to travel to Paris but prices are still too high for your liking? Eurostar recommends heading to Marne-la-Vallée, which is only a 40-minute train ride from the centre of Paris.
Book late with Eurostar Snap
Eurostar Snap isn't an option for the faint hearted, but it could save you a fortune.
You could get tickets from as little as £25 each way with Eurostar Snap, which is separate to the main Eurostar website.
But it is unlikely these rock-bottom prices will be available during peak times such as bank holidays.
Booking is open between 30 to seven days before departure and you specify a date and morning or afternoon.
Eurostar then picks the exact train and emails you the details of your departure 48 hours before travel.
This could, of course, backfire.
If you've just got one weekend in Paris and you get put on the Saturday 11.30am train out of London, you've already lost half a day.
Plus, as you can only book up to 30 days before departure, you may be missing out on the best hotel deals.
Snap tickets are only available for journeys between London, Paris, Lille and Brussels.
Check return and Standard Premier tickets
Eurostar's ticket pricing is dynamic, meaning that it can vary hugely with demand, like airline tickets.
This can lead to some surprising bargains for savvy travellers.
For a start, return tickets can – anecdotally at least – end up cheaper than single tickets. A return ticket is almost always likely to be cheaper than two separately booked singles, excluding the 'Snap' option above.
It's often possible to get a Standard Premier seat for just a few pounds more than Standard class.
Premier class features bigger seats, a cold light meal and a round of free alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, so it could be worth the extra expense.
Use an InterRail or Eurail pass
The passes cost anywhere from £47 to more than £200 depending on the type you want (One Country, Global or Premium) so it's not worth getting solely for cheaper Eurostar travel, but if you were getting one anyway then you may as well save extra.
You can book through the Eurostar website.
Join Club Eurostar
Club Eurostar replaced two old schemes, Eurostar Plus Points and Eurostar Frequent Traveller.
It's free to join and worth doing before you book a ticket.
It works in a similar way to airline frequent flyer schemes, in that you earn points that can be spent on tickets or upgrades.
The difference is that you earn one point per £1 spent on travel, rather than distance travelled.
Your Club Eurostar points can also be transferred to American Express or Le Club Accor Hotels (or vice versa).
If you spend £2,400 in a year, or take 32 return journeys, you'll join the 'Carte Blanche' tier, entitling you to free lounge access and fast-track lanes.
You’ll also get a free 12-month digital subscription to The Telegraph.
Check for group and age-related savings
Children under four can travel for free on Eurostar trains, provided they don't need their own seat.
Plus, there are discounted prices for under 12s, youths, and groups.
There is also a discount for someone accompanying a wheelchair user, who is travelling in Standard Premier or Business Premier class.
Use cashback websites and credit cards
Even if these websites don't have direct Eurostar offers, they could let you earn cashback by using other train booking websites.
Loco2 is a website and app that allows Eurostar bookings and used to not charge any booking fees.
This policy has recently changed as a booking fee will now be added to all journeys except domestic UK.
Even without these sites, you could effectively save 5% on your Eurostar journey by paying with the American Express Everyday or Platinum Cashback cards (within the first three months of ownership).
Check if flying or a coach or ferry is cheaper
The Eurostar has many advantages over flying.
It’s a fast way to get to the centre of a city with a generous luggage allowance at no extra cost. There are also no restrictions on liquids, you get more space in your seat and it’s better for the environment.
But it’s worth checking to see if you can get a cheaper flight to your destination if you’re on a tight budget.
Budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair have cheap flights to places like Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam throughout the year.
Read How to get a cheap flight for tips on sussing out the best deals.
If you're really short on cash, a coach is a cheap, if not particularly comfortable or rapid way to cross the English Channel.
Or, if you're going to Amsterdam, a combined train and ferry ticket on the 'Dutch Flyer' could be an option.
It's best tackled as an overnight journey, but you'll get your own en-suite cabin for a similar price to the cheapest Eurostar tickets.
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